“High Atop the Rock” Aug. 15th Story/Photos by Rocky Ragusa

Rocky Ragusa
Rocky Ragusa photo






Speed Week

One of the bright young stars in the Central Illinois region, is Tanner Sullivan. Hailing from Pontiac, the 18 year old has made quite an impression in only his second year behind the wheel of his #20, Street Stock. With four feature wins to date, Sullivan will look to close the 2018 strong.

As a young boy, Sullivan was interested in the NASCAR races on television and attended the weekly races at Fairbury. With the support of his family, Sullivan put together a car, with the help of Mike Vallow, and began his racing education. This year, Sullivan bought a new Medieval chassis and came out of the gate strong.

“The car works great at Farmer City (2 feature wins),” said Sullivan. “It handle great at Farmer. The track seems to fit my driving style. Between flipping the car and our feature win at Fairbury, it has been an up and down year there.”

Sullivan will be attending the University of Northern Ohio and is enrolled a high performance program. The school also fields a race team, where they compete on tracks in Ohio and Indiana. “I am in a two year program,” Sullivan said. “While there, I plan to try out for the dirt racing program. Hopefully it will work out.”

Going to UNOH Monday- Thursday, Sullivan has plans to return home on Fridays and race at Farmer City and Fairbury to finish out the point race.“ My goal is to finish in the top three,” Sullivan stated. “After that, it will be hit or miss. I want to focus on finishing as high as possible in the national points.”

In the latest release from UMP, Sullivan is 5th in the national points, 3rd in the North region, and 3rd at both Farmer City and Fairbury. “We had a couple of nights where things didn’t go well, but overall we have made the goals I set of the year. Next year, the goal will be the Fairbury track championship and the national title.”

Along with his parents and grandparents, Mike Vallow has served as Sullivan’s mentor. “Mike has been a tremendous boost to our team,” closed Sullivan. “He is my go to guy for help on the car’s setup, parts, and fuel. Logan Pekarovich helps out at the shop and track. Roger Friedman does a great job with the motors. I also thank Sunoco Race Fuels, Racing 411, DJ Stone, Lind Construction, S& R Rt. 66 Auto Center, Pontiac RV, and Fogerty’s Garage.”

Friday Racing

Farmer City Raceway The B-Modified division will return along with a full program on racing excitement. Veterans and Children under 12 are free. Mike Spatola (Late Model), Ray Bollinger (Modified), Jason Maier (Street Stock), Dakota Ewing (Pro Late), and Adam Webb (Hornet).

Grundy County Speedway Racing returns with action in four classes as drivers look to tame the 1/3 mile, asphalt track. Time trials start at 6:45 and racing will follow.

Kankakee County Speedway Sport Compact drivers headline a six division program with $200 to win race. 7:30, the green flag waves.

Lincoln Speedway With two point nights remaining, the Modified point battle should be quite interesting to watch. Multi Time track champion, Brain Lynn and his son, Austin, both from Mason City
are currently tied in the race for the crown. This week the 410, Non-Winged Sprint Cars, join the Pro Late Models, Modified, and Midgets at the Logan County Fairgrounds. Hot laps at 6 and racing at 7.

Saturday Racing

Fairbury American Legion Speedway Since 1946, racing during the Fairbury Fair always drew a large crowd. The fair races have always been one of the events a driver always looked forward to. The races would always end early enough for the families and race teams to join in the fun on the midway. With the 142nd annual fair beginning on Wednesday, racing at the 1/3 mile dirt oval will take place on Saturday night. An early start time will have hot laps at 5, followed by time trials, and the racing program. Late Models, Modified, Street Stock, and Sportsman classes will have their final night to receive track points. In the Alkota “Keep it Clean” battle, 2018 Modified track champion, McKay Wenger (65 pts.) Kevin Weaver (64 pts.), Steve Mattingly (64 pts.), Richard Craven (54 pts.), and Brandon Pralle (53 pts.)

LaSalle Speedway Area favorite, Rich Bell Jr. will look to defend his home turf against a strong field of drivers as the American Ethanol Late Model Tour will be featured in a $4000 to win race. Brandon Thirlby holds a four point lead over Eric Spangler in the current point standings. Pro Late Models ($1000 to win), Street Stocks ($500 to win), and the Hornet racing will also take place. Hot laps start at 6:45 and racing at 7:30. Adult admission is $20 and children 12 and under are free.

Macon Speedway The Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget League return to the 1/5 mile, dirt oval. Micros, Pro Late Models, Street Stock, and Hornets round out the program. Hot laps at 6 and racing at 7.

Peoria Speedway $1000 will go to the winner of the Midwest Championship Street Stock race this Saturday night. Racing will also be held in the regular weekly classes. Roger Rebholz took his fourth Modified win, DeWayne Kiefer took his first Late Model win, and Tyler Gilmor won his fifth Street Stock race. Hot laps at 5:30 and racing at 6.

Bohmer’s Rt. 66 Raceway It was a big day for Kart racing this past Sunday as 35 drivers signed in. Ethan Weber (Fairbury) took the $512 to win, Clone 380 race, sponsored by Chase McQueary Racing (Washington). Reese Bohm (Pontiac) made it three wins for the year by taking the $112 to win Jr. 3 race, sponsored by K&S Ford (Fairbury). Ben Melcher (Pontiac) was a double feature winner, with a win in the Jr. 1 race , and the $112 to win, Jr. 2 race sponsored by Olson Auto Scrap and Recycle (Seneca). Other race winners were Liam Gray (Pekin) Rookie A and Drew McWhorter (Fairbury) 400.